J.C. Marlatt Blacksmith Shop at the Trails and Rails Museum
Although the J.C. Marlatt Blacksmith Shop was built in 2012, it was built using lumber from barns in the area that were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Inside is a fully functioning blacksmith shop with a permanent forge and chimney on the west side as well as several tools used to help shape the hot metal. The shop is currently used by a group of blacksmiths in Kearney; they get together once a month to work on their projects. When you visit the Blacksmith shop, be sure to ask your guide what the blacksmith’s water will cure!
Backstory and Context
Blacksmiths forged everything that was made out of iron before machines were created to do the work. They made door handles, nails, and tools, they even made the hammers used to make other objects! Blacksmiths also formed the iron for horseshoes to fit to a horse’s hoof. This was a frequent use of the blacksmith’s abilities in the American West as horses were one of the primary sources of transportation.